Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023 : Details, Time and Dates
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, popularly known as the Festival of Chariots, holds immense reverence and vitality in the hearts of Hindu devotees worldwide. It is an annual extravaganza that unfolds in the holy city of Puri, located in the state of Odisha, India. In this blog, we will explore the deep significance, historical roots, and magnificent spectacle of the Jagannath Yatra, along with the much-awaited Rath Yatra scheduled for 2023
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023
The Jagannath Rath Yatra of 2023 holds great anticipation as devotees eagerly gather to witness and participate in the sacred pilgrimage of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra. This grand spectacle entails the magnificent chariots, adorned in exquisite decorations, being pulled by devotees from the revered Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple, spanning a distance of around three kilometres. It is a breathtaking sight that embodies devotion, spirituality, and unity among the worshipers.
Date, Time & Venue of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra
The precise date of the Rath Yatra festival in 2023 will be determined in accordance with the Hindu calendar. As per tradition, this auspicious festival occurs on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashadha. Devotees eagerly anticipate the announcement of the exact date and time, which is decided by religious authorities and shared well in advance. The vibrant city of Puri becomes the epicentre of this grand celebration, drawing millions of devotees and tourists from far and wide. It is a time of immense spiritual fervour and cultural splendour.
What is Ratha Yatra?
Ratha Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival, holds immense importance in Hinduism as it celebrates Lord Jagannath's and his siblings' annual pilgrimage from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple. The chariots used in this grand procession are meticulously crafted, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship, and adorned with vibrant colours, fabrics, and intricate designs. Devotees fervently participate in pulling the chariots, pouring their hearts into chanting prayers and singing devotional songs as they express their deep devotion and seek the divine blessings of the deities. It is a spiritually enriching experience that brings devotees closer to the divine presence of Lord Jagannath.
Jagannath Rath Yatra History
The history of the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra is centuries long. This tradition was believed to be established by King Indradyumna, who desired to install the deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra in a grand temple. The deities are made from Neem wood and are replaced with new ones every twelve or nineteen years. The Rath Yatra symbolises the annual journey of Lord Krishna to visit his birthplace, Vrindavan.
Why do People Celebrate Rath Yatra?
The Jagannath Rath Yatra has a rich history that spans centuries. According to legend, King Indradyumna had the vision to establish a magnificent temple for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra. The deities, sculpted from Neem wood, are periodically replaced with new ones every twelve or nineteen years in a sacred ritual called Naba Kalebara. The Rath Yatra signifies the annual pilgrimage of Lord Krishna to his birthplace, Vrindavan, and is a testament to the deep-rooted devotion and reverence for the divine. The festival holds a special place in the hearts of devotees and continues to be celebrated with great enthusiasm and splendour.
How is Rath Yatra Festival Celebrated?
The Rath Yatra festival is a grand celebration that encompasses a myriad of rituals and festivities. Weeks prior to the event, skilled artisans invest their time and expertise in meticulously crafting and adorning the majestic chariots. As the much-awaited day arrives, devotees gather in large numbers at the Jagannath Temple, brimming with anticipation and devotion. The atmosphere is electrifying as the deities are reverently placed on the elaborately decorated chariots. With unyielding enthusiasm, devotees come together to pull the chariots through the streets, accompanied by resounding chants, melodious music, and lively dancing. The procession reaches its pinnacle at the Gundicha Temple, where the deities sojourn for a week before making their triumphant return to the Jagannath Temple.
On the 9th day following the main Rath Yatra, Ulta Rath Yatra, known as the Reverse Chariot Festival or Bahuda Yatra, starts. It is an eagerly awaited event that marks the return journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra from the Gundicha Temple to the Jagannath Temple in Puri. Ulta Rath Yatra typically falls on the tenth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashadha, according to the Hindu calendar. Devotees eagerly participate in this grand spectacle, pulling the beautifully adorned chariots with great enthusiasm and devotion. The procession follows the same route in reverse, and the deities are joyfully welcomed back to the Jagannath Temple amidst chants, music, and celebrations.
Major Attractions Of Jagannath Rath Yatra
The Jagannath Rath Yatra transcends its religious significance to become a vibrant cultural extravaganza. The festival serves as a platform to showcase a plethora of art forms, including captivating music performances, mesmerising dance routines, and engaging folk theatre. The grandeur of the intricately designed chariots, adorned with vibrant colours and exquisite details, is a visual spectacle that leaves spectators in awe. The atmosphere during the Rath Yatra is electrifying, with devotees pouring their hearts and soul into the procession, chanting sacred hymns, and pulling the chariots with immense zeal and devotion. Amidst the jubilant ambience, the aroma of delectable food wafts through the air. Devotees offer bhog, a sacred meal, to the deities as a token of their love and gratitude. The prasad, blessed food, is then distributed to everyone present, fostering a sense of unity and shared blessings. The Rath Yatra is not just a religious event but a celebration of art, culture, and community coming together in harmony and celebration.
Year-Wise Rath Yatra Observances For the Next Five Years
The upcoming years hold great anticipation and excitement for the Rath Yatra festival. Devotees and enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the grand event in the years to come. Let's take a glimpse into the next five years of Rath Yatra observances:
|2023||Tue||20 Jun||Rath Yatra|
|2024||Sun||7 Jul||Rath Yatra|
|2025||Fri||27 Jun||Rath Yatra|
|2026||Thu||16 Jul||Rath Yatra|
|2027||Mon||5 Jul||Rath Yatra|
|2028||Sat||24 Jun||Rath Yatra|
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Jagannath Rath Yatra held every year?
Yes, Jagannath Rath Yatra is held every year in Puri, Odisha, India. It is one of the most significant festivals in the region and attracts a large number of devotees and tourists.
What is the date of Ulta Rath Yatra?
Ulta Rath Yatra, also known as Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the chariots, usually takes place on the 9th day after the main Rath Yatra. The date of the Ulta Rath Yatra varies each year as it is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar. This year it is expected to be on June 28.
How many days does Rath Yatra continue?
The main Rath Yatra procession takes place on the second day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashadha. The festival usually spans nine days, including preparations, the main Rath Yatra day, and subsequent events such as Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha.
What is the best time to visit Puri?
Puri, the holy city where the Jagannath Temple is located, can be visited throughout the year. However, the period from October to March is generally considered the best time to visit as the weather is pleasant and comfortable. It is advisable to avoid the monsoon season (June to September) due to heavy rainfall, which may disrupt travel plans.